Solitary confinement news roundupThe following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts.

• In The Daily Beast, Solitary Watch contributor Sarah Shourd explores the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s recently proposed “obscenity regulations” – the rules that govern what mail can go into and of the state’s prisons and jails.  As one interviewee comments, ““These prisoners are essentially being punished for trying to alert the media to conditions of extreme solitary confinement inside California’s prison.”

• Bonnie Kerness, director of the Prison Watch program of the American Friends Service Committee, writes about solitary confinement and Torture Awareness Month for Truth-Out.

• ABC News “Nightline” followed Gregg Marcantel – the Secretary of Corrections for New Mexico – as he went undercover to spend 48 hours in solitary confinement.   The outlet also published “prison diaries” from other individuals in isolation.

• In light of the recently released second season of Orange is the New Black, the ACLU published a blog post on the “scariest villain” in the prison – solitary confinement.

• A family in DeKalb County, Missouri has filed a lawsuit in the death of Timothy Harris, a 36-year-old who was being held at the Deaviess-Dekalb County Regional Jail pending trial when he passed away.  Lawyers for Harris’ family allege that he was kept in solitary confinement for twelve days without a toilet, sink or running water.

• Motherboard featured an interview with Raphael Sperry, president of the Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR).   The organization recently launched a crowd-sourcing campaign to get the American Institute of Architects to “prohibit the design of spaces that inherently violate human rights in their code of ethics,” particularly solitary confinement cells and supermax prisons.

• A South Carolina paper, The Post and Courier, published a feature piece on Randy Poindexter, who spent 16 years in solitary confinement in a state facility.  “His story illustrates the challenges in providing therapeutic care in an underfunded, understaffed correctional system built more for punishment than redemption. It also shows the resiliency of the human spirit and its ability to bounce back from a time when painting the cell walls red with his own blood was the only thing that brought Poindexter peace.”

• An individual serving a life sentence in connection to the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Tanzania has won a federal appeal, after the FBI limited his contact to 32 people.   He is incarcerated in the supermax facility in Florence, Colorado and also subject to Special Administrative Measures, which further constrain his communication with the outside world.

• A news outlet has obtained video that follows the last few hours of Christopher Lee Lopez’s life, while he is strapped into restraints at the San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo, Colorado.  Lopez had recently been removed from solitary confinement after spending nine and a half months in “the box”; the video shows him having a grand mal seizure in the restraint chair, and prison guards only coming to his assistance over thirty minutes later.  A lawsuit has been filed in federal court.

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